Letter from Governor Martin O’Malley on Guns

January 15, 2013

Martin O'MalleyFriend,
There’s no easy answer to the complex problem of gun violence. I’ve spent my entire career — as a prosecutor, city councilman, mayor, and now as governor — focused on trying to keep families safe and reduce violent crime.

We need a comprehensive approach. That’s why in the next few days, I’ll unveil a three-pronged strategy focused on gun safety, school safety and mental health.

1.) Gun safety: We should ban military-style assault weapons, limit large ammunition capacity, and require licenses for handgun purchases. We respect the rights of hunters and sportsmen and that’s why our licensing requirements will NOT apply to shotguns or rifles.

2.) School safety: We will invest in security upgrades for schools, including cameras at entrances, automatically locking doors, shatterproof glass and buzzer entrance systems. We will also establish a “Maryland Center for School Safety,” which will amplify our efforts by gathering meaningful data and serving as a central hub for collaboration between our federal, state and local law enforcement partners.

3.) Mental heath: We will improve data sharing practices between federal and state officials. In addition, we will invest more to improve mental health services so we can intervene early and reduce the potential for violent behavior. We’ll expand crisis intervention teams, expand response services and establish a center for excellence on early intervention for serious mental illness.

This is a complex problem and we need a comprehensive approach. I look forward to hearing from you in the days ahead as we work to build a stronger, safer Maryland.
Thank you,

Martin O’Malley

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